VMC’s Landmark Achievement in Newborn Breastfeeding Rates

FIRST 5 Santa Clara County Commissioners and CEO Jolene Smith on a recent tour of VMC’s neonatal intensive care unit led by Dr. Balaji Govindaswami, chief of newborn medicine.

Valley Medical Center now ranks #7 in the state of California for hospital breastfeeding rates according to a report released by the California WIC Association and the UC Davis Human Lactation Center. VMC has achieved a 90% exclusive breastfeeding rate within 24 hours of a baby’s birth at the hospital.

“This is a great achievement and recognition for all the hard work that the lactation consultants, nurses, staff, physicians, and nurse practitioners have done to improve breastfeeding support to mothers and infants,” said Dr. Priya Jegatheesan, medical director of VMC’s well baby nursery.

The VMC Foundation is very grateful to FIRST 5 Santa Clara County for making a significant investment in VMC’s lactation program. Thanks to FIRST 5 funding, over 300 VMC nurses have been trained in the WHO’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding curriculum and are now providing consistent breastfeeding guidance to new moms hospital-wide.

FIRST 5 continues to support VMC’s lactation program with grant funding for breastmilk analysis, a new strategy to ensure that all newborns are receiving optimal nutrition. FIRST 5 also supports VMC’s new outpatient lactation support group, an effort that has been shown to improve the duration of breastfeeding due to sustained follow-up and support for mothers once they are discharged from the hospital.

Improving breastfeeding rates is just one of VMC’s many important initiatives supported by FIRST 5 Santa Clara County. Other programs made possible with the support of FIRST 5 include a pediatric medical-legal clinic, a dedicated genetics counselor for high-risk births, a family and baby advocate to support low-income families, the purchase of life-saving equipment for the neonatal intensive care unit, and much more. To learn more about FIRST 5 Santa Clara County, please visit their website: http://first5kids.org/

VMC’s Healthier Living Program makes the Wall St. Journal!

The team of VMC's H.E.L.P. program, nationally recognized!

Every day, teams of dedicated men and women run great programs at Valley Medical Center…but it’s not every day that the news makes the  Wall Street Journal.

This week, it did! The article (read it here) features photos from a VMC Healthier Living Class, and talks about this growing nationwide movement .  Our Healthier Living program has graduated over 800 participants since 2006.

Healthier Living is staffed by the SCVMC patient association HELP: Health, Empowerment, Leadership People which consists of SCVMC patient-volunteers. The VMC Foundation is proud to support this great program (and I’m proud to be part of the photo above!)

Free Chronic Disease Self Management Program “Healthier Living” Classes are available for all VMC patients and staff, regardless of insurance or non-insured status.  This program was developed at Stanford University Patient Education Research Center.  The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program is a workshop given two and a half hours, once a week, for six weeks.  The program was developed for people with chronic health problems and their significant others. People with different problems attend the same workshop together. Workshops are facilitated by two trained leaders.

Subjects covered include: 1) techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation, 2) appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility, and endurance, 3) appropriate use of medications, 4) communicating effectively with family, friends, and health care professionals, 5) nutrition, and, 6) how to evaluate new treatments. There is also great emphasis on three process skills: action planning, disease related problem solving, and decision making.

Sharks Pediatric Clinic a big win for VMC

After nearly a year of work, the Sharks Foundation and VMC Foundation were delighted to unveil the new Sharks Pediatric Clinic at Valley Health Center Tully to the public on Friday, March 23, 2012.

The event included special appearances by Sharks players Patrick Marleau, Dan Boyle and Brent Burns, GM Doug Wilson and Head Coach Todd McLellen.

VHC Tully, a VMC community clinic in San Jose, serves nearly 6,000 kids a month, providing essential preventative care, regardless of ability to pay. Those patients will now enjoy pediatric exam and waiting areas that are fun, engaging and promote healthy living, thanks to the Sharks Foundation.

To see photos from the event, check out –

To see the clinic for yourself, check out “the before”…

…and “the after” (note:  new waiting room furniture not pictured)